McCarten retained as Little’s Chief of Staff

It has been confirmed that Matt McCarten has appointed Matt McCarten as his Chief of Staff, continuing on from holding the position under David Cunliffe’s leadership and a post election temporary continuation of that.

Audrey Young reports Labour leader appoints new-but-old chief of staff Matt McCarten

Labour leader Andrew Little has appointed left wing strategist Matt McCarten as his chief of staff.

Mr McCarten was chief of staff for former leader David Cunliffe and was kept on in a temporary basis after Mr Little won the leadership a month ago.

McCarten’s appointment by Cunliffe raised many eyebrows. McCarten had formely been involved in the Alliance Party (with Laila Harre) and had close connections to New Zealand socialists (there’s still a few hopeful reds) and to the Mana Party. And…

Mr McCarten’s appointment in February stunned the Labour caucus because as a founder of the break-away Alliance, he had spent years opposing Labour.

One of his strengths was his supposed campaign ability, but Labour’s campaign was an embarrassing failure. Little mustn’t blame McCarten for this, or he may think enough has been learned to turn things around for Labour.

McCarten also has strong union links, like Little.

Mr McCarten helped to found the militant Unite Union for low paid workers and Mr Little is a former national secretary of the Engineers’ Union.

Some have claimed the reappointment is a condition of union support for Little  for the Labour leadership – the unions helped Little win the contest by a whisker.

There are signs that the Labour caucus is happier, more confident and more united behind Little than they have been since Helen Clark left a vacuum.

This will make McCarten’s job easier, but there are significant risks, which will be touched on in the next post.

Leave a comment


  1. Ian McKinnon

     /  12th December 2014

    The filth and stench in Labour is alive and well, being further endorsed by the unelectable leader’s appointment of this sediment of society.

  2. Mike C

     /  12th December 2014

    LOL. “Matt McCarten has appointed Matt McCarten as his Chief of Staff”. Freudian Slip? Don’t change it Pee-Gee, because it sounds like the truth to me 🙂

  3. Ian McKinnon

     /  12th December 2014

    McCarten, he who withheld taxation payments from staff. What an indictment of Labour sleeze!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: